F1: Palmer OUT, Sainz IN At Renault

Sainz crash and heavy rain delay practice sessions in Japan // Suzuka weekend off to a difficult start for all

The Briton will be replaced for the remainder of the season by Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz, in a move that has been rumoured since the Spaniard signed a 2018 contract with Renault earlier this year.

Palmer's exit means a return to Toro Rosso for Russian Daniil Kvyat, who was recently axed in favour of French rookie Pierre Gasly.

Renault have been keen to ditch Palmer as soon as the Sainz loan deal was announced, but Palmer continued to race at Malaysia before finally deciding to give up his seat.

Sainz was due to join from Toro Rosso at the end of the season but Renault said in a statement that the team and Palmer had now agreed to end their relationship by mutual agreement after Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

"How disappointing, this wasn't the way I wanted to end my time with Toro Rosso, that's for sure", said Sainz Jr. "We look forward to beating him on track!"

"It's a shame for me not to finish the season, I've been here a while and I respect the decision and wish Carlos and the team all the best for the future".

"I've been with them for three years and it's a shame not to be going to Austin with them".

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"We go in separate ways and I'll work on something else in the future".

Over the course of his 56-race career with the Faenza-based outfit, Sainz scored 112 championship points, with his best result achieved this year at Singapore where he finished fourth.

"On my side, I will definitely do my very best in tomorrow's race - this would be the best possible send-off!"

The Englishman is set to start 18th at Suzuka, one place ahead of Sainz, after both received a 20-place grid penalty for engine component changes.

"The driver I am today, compared to the driver I was in 2015, is a more complete and better one, and this is thanks to Toro Rosso, who are a great group of professionals".

But it was also the first official retirement at Suzuka for three years - stretching back to Jules Bianchi's tragic fatal accident in the wet during the 2014 race.

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